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Last Updated on February 16, 2020 by Diane Hoffmaster
Do you find it hard to eat healthy while traveling? Have you ever hit the road for a journey and dreaded the sluggish feeling of a post road food meal? Summer vacation is fast approaching and my husband and I are hoping to take the kids on a road trip. We rarely fly anywhere when we take trips, primarily due to the cost of airfare. Driving to our destination gives us the freedom to pack as much as we want, make side trips along the way, and in general relax a bit more than we do when we fly. It is also easier to eat healthy while traveling by car than it is when you have to rely on the airlines for your meal. I am not a fan of peanuts and pretzels as my meal choice! Here are a few tips for eating healthy while traveling as well as a few affiliate links for items you may find helpful.
How to Eat Healthy While Traveling
Stock up on travel-friendly food that's nutrient-dense and non-perishable. In order to eat healthy while traveling, you really need to shop ahead of time and bring stuff with you. Rarely will you come across a Whole Foods or farmer's market along the highway!
Pack some water bottles:
Instead of relying on coffee and soda from the gas station, pack a few stainless steel bottles full of water to help stay hydrated. There is no need to waste your money on bottled water. You just create more plastic waste and ruin your budget. Pack a few reusable water bottles into a cooler for ice cold water for hours.
Pack some fruit in a cooler:
Grapes make a great no mess snack as do blueberries packed into a plastic zip to lock bag. You can also pack dried fruit like raisins or banana chips which need no refrigeration at all. If you want your kids to eat healthy when traveling, a Ziploc bag full of berries or grapes is a great choice. It will keep them busy for a few minutes and you won't end up with a kid high on sugar. Pick up a lightweight cooler and keep your fruit cool while you travel.
Choose high protein snacks:
Protein is going to give you a more sustained amount of energy compared to simple carbohydrates. Too much sugar and you will get a brief 'rush' but then a quick crash and you will be falling asleep at the wheel. Good choices for protein are nuts, cheese sticks or protein bars. There are also some healthy protein drinks on the market if you want to pack them in your cooler.
Make home made trail mix:
Trail mix is a great travel snack. Mix whole grain cereal, nuts, dried fruit, and some chocolate chips in a large bag. A great healthy snack for your car ride. Trail mix doesn't have to be complicated. Throw whatever fruits and nuts you have around into a container. Add something sweet for a treat (I like chocolate chips or chocolate covered pretzels) and maybe throw in some dried cereal or Goldfish crackers. Put into small reusable bags for traveling. Try this sweet and salty trail mix recipe from Turning the Clock Back if you need ideas.
Choose Whole Grains:
Granola bars, protein bars, and whole wheat crackers are much better choices if you are concerned about how to eat healthy while traveling than cookies and candy. The higher fiber content will help keep you full longer. Add those whole grains to some protein for even more sustained energy.
Research your destination ahead of time:
If you know where you will be ending up at mealtimes, do a bit of research ahead of time. Search out a few restaurants in the area and glance at the menu. You can decide ahead of time whether you think it will be a good choice for your diet concerns.
If you are heading out on vacation soon I hope you will find these tips useful for eating healthy while traveling. If you watch what you eat while you are on vacation, you are less likely to suffer stomach upsets, weight gain, and fatigue than if you gorge on candy and high-fat foods. Just because you are going on vacation, doesn't mean you have to blow your diet completely. Sure, you should treat yourself while on vacation but all things in moderation, right?
What is your favorite snack for eating healthy while traveling?
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.